The trial of a U.S. soldier accused of providing classified materials to WikiLeaks is unique for the size of the leak and also faces the unresolved cyber-age issue of whether Tweets and Web pages can be admitted as evidence.
Judge Colonel Denise Lind was left to wrestle with this question when the court-martial of Private First Class Bradley Manning, who is accused of the largest leak of classified material in U.S. history, last convened a week ago. Read The Full Story
Protesters showed up to a gun-rights rally in Erie, Pa., with their firearms out in the open—purposely defying a local ordinance that prohibits guns at city parks.
“We are American patriots, and we are a force to be reckoned with!” yelled Pastor George Cook of North Bangor, Pa. (350 miles away) at the Perry Square park gazebo Saturday, WSEE-TV reports. Read The Full Story
Ed Snowden beware: U.S. State Dept. has confirmed history of running covert abductions of Americans in Ecuador
As reported by the Associated Press, Edward Snowden managed to evade U.S. authorities and fly to Ecuador where he is apparently being granted political asylum.
U.S. District Court Strikes Down Tennessee Law Giving Two Major Parties Best Spot on Ballot; and Also Strikes Down Petition Requirement Again
On June 18, U.S. District Court Judge William J. Haynes ruled that Tennessee’s law, giving the two largest parties the best spots on the general election ballot, is unconstitutional. He also again struck down the law that requires newly-qualifying parties to submit 40,042 valid signatures (2.5% of the last gubernatorial vote).
Judge Haynes had struck down the number of signatures in the same case, but the Sixth Circuit had remanded the case back to him, and requested that he review the number of signatures again. The Sixth Circuit mentioned that in 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld Georgia’s petition requirement of 5% of the number of registered voters. In response, Judge Haynes reaffirmed his original decision, pointing out that Tennessee is obviously not concerned about crowded ballots, because it allows presidential primary candidates to get on the ballot with only 2,500 signatures; and it lets all candidates for other office get on primary ballots with only 25 signatures. Also he mentioned that Tennessee lets independent candidates get on the ballot for President with 275 signatures and independent candidates for all other office only need 25 signatures.
The part of the decision on ballot order of candidates is surely the most thorough court opinion on that subject ever written. The opinion contains an exhaustive report on research on whether ballot access order affects voting behavior. Read The Full Story
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation deputy director Sherwin Smith is warning citizens to think before they start raising concerns about water quality because they could be charged with making terroristic threats. Smith told Maury County resident that unfounded complaints could be considered an “act of terrorism” and turned over the the police and the FBI. The meeting followed complaints about water quality in Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee where children have become ill drinking the water. That left residents with the sense that they were being given a Sophie’s Choice by the TDEC: live with sick children or face a possible charge of being a terrorist. Read The Full Story